Five Ways To Motivate Yourself To Workout When You Don't Really Want To

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I have a confession. I’ve not been in super workout ra ra mode lately. I don’t know if it is the change of seasons or the seemingly endless amount of projects I’ve been working on, but I’m just not that into working out right now. But, this doesn’t mean I’m not working out, it just means I’m less motivated to get myself going. And that’s okay because I’m still doing what I need to do, even if it takes some extra push to get there. Here are five ways I’ve been forcing myself to workout during those times when I’d rather being doing anything else

Fashion Is A Great Motivator

Who doesn’t get excited to wear new clothes? If you find you have the cardio blahs, buy yourself a cute outfit. This ALWAYS works for me. Here are a few ideas.

So Is Money…

I am beyond overworked right now. Really, I would love to spend my borderline non-existent free time on my couch, but that isn’t an option right now. So, I’m forcing myself to plan my day when I wake up and sign up for a group fitness class using ClassPass. If you miss a class, they charge you $15 and I’d rather put that cash towards anything else. I also work best under pressure, so if I know I have to be somewhere later that day, I ‘m more likely to finish my work.

If you haven’t heard of ClassPass, it’s an amazing program that gets you the best deals (literally, I’ve checked) on group fitness classes in 43 different cities, making life so much easier if you travel a lot and still want to stick to your fitness routine.

If you’ve never used ClassPass before, use my affiliate link for a $40 credit. They have a few plans to choose from.

As Is Time….

Sometimes I want to skip a workout, but knowing what my week looks like in advance and keeping the big picture in mind makes me aware that skipping a day isn’t an option. There just won’t be an available time slot later in the week. This is especially true because I try to workout 4-5 days a week.

But Short Workouts Are EVERYTHING

Trying to motivate myself to workout for 45 minutes to an hour has been like trying to pull teeth lately. First of all, some days I don’t have an extra minute to spare. Then there’s the fact that an hour can sound like ten hours when I am super stressed. So, I’ve found several 30-minute classes that I can motivate myself to go to. Plus, when I know I’m there for a shorter period of time, I work much harder. This makes me feel super accomplished and totally exhausted when I am finished.

And Convenience Is King

This is a conversation I had earlier this week:

Me- Honey, I’m headed off to the gym downstairs in our building to go for a run.

Husband- You’ve never been to the gym downstairs.

Me- Not true, I go there all the time to use the bathroom when I’m sipping rosé at the pool.

Husband- I mean to workout.

Me- Also not true, I’ve used it five times in the two and half years we’ve lived here.

I’m not a gym person or a running person, but I can’t think of a more convenient place to squeeze in a workout right now. So, I’m starting to use the gym in my building more often. Honestly, it’s not my favorite place to workout, but being able to get in and out the most time efficient way possible is sometimes the only option I have.

Remember— SOMETHING IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN NOTHING! A 30-minute jog around your neighborhood is better than a 30-minute snooze on the couch.  

 

Things We're Too Lazy To Blog About Podcast: Bonus With Dani Havasy Of Core Chakra

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Listen on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherAudioBoom, or stream/download below.

We know it’s been a difficult week to say the very least with everything that has been going on, so we thought we would cheer you up with a bonus episode featuring one of Amanda’s best friends Dani Havasy, who created the fitness/lifestyle program Core Chakra. Dani talks about the process of creating her business, chakras, meditation, workshops, chakra readings (yes, we have a special discount if you want your chakras read by Dani and yes, she can do it through Facetime, Skype, etc), finding your true self, yoga, pilates, fitness, self-care, haters and so much more. It’s actually a very fun and funny episode, which I’m sure all of you need right now. 

Don’t forget, you can EARN EXTRA KARMA POINTS by subscribing and leaving us a five-star review on iTunes. All you have to do is click the Ratings and Reviews tab. Then, Click Write A Review. Then actually write a review.

In the Podcasts App, search for the podcast even though you already subscribe, then click Ratings and Reviews. Click Write A Review. Write about how much you love being a Blogette. It might not show up immediately, but just Ali going to an event, she’ll get there eventually.

Core Chakra Bloguette Special

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How A Fitness Instructor Should Make You Feel

Photo by  Hayley Fisk . Makeup by  Kinx Active . Location  dr pilates  Los Angeles.

Photo by Hayley Fisk. Makeup by Kinx Active. Location dr pilates Los Angeles.

I’m not sure if you know this fun fact about me, but I’ve taken close to 550 group fitness classes in the past two or so years. I’m not trying to brag or say “Look at how fit I am,” but I want to share what I’ve learned through the process.

Last week, A Sweat Life published an article I wrote about group fitness. I briefly mentioned a horrible experience I had with an instructor. If you haven’t had a chance to read that post (and you really should), let me recap.

Two years ago, I unknowingly signed up for a West Coast Pilates class. If you aren’t familiar with West Coast style Pilates, it’s essentially Pilates on crack. It was my first time at that studio and I felt like a complete idiot. I had no idea what was going on or what to do. To make matters worse, the instructor was particularly unkind to me for no reason. While I have seen so many instructors go out of their way to help first-timers, this guy seemingly enjoyed making me feel unwelcome. I had to hold back tears. I felt like my body didn’t work right. A good instructor will gently guide you and NEVER shame you. Luckily, I gave the studio another chance and found several instructors who were nothing like that guy. I’m happy I didn’t let him ruin it for me entirely.

A good instructor should be able to teach multiple levels at the same time, beginners to advanced.  Everyone in a group fitness class will have different strengths and weaknesses anyway. For example, some people have strong arms, but weak legs. A decent instructor should at least try to accommodate everyone. And if they can’t, someone doesn’t have a challenging workout and someone else inevitably ends up injuring themselves.

Furthermore, an instructor needs to make sure everyone knows how to the machines and equipment properly. Being short (5”3 on a good day) can be a challenge for me because most equipment is designed for taller people. Some exercises have to be modified or I sometimes use equipment differently than someone who is six feet tall.  We all deserve to get the most out of our workout and if you aren’t comfortable working with equipment, it becomes impossible to have correct form. If you feel something isn’t right or you just aren’t sure if you are performing an exercise properly, ask the instructor. Their job is to guide you.

Then there’s the playlist factor. Musical taste has no correlation to teaching, but we all know there’s only so much EDM a person can take if they aren’t on molly. But, in all seriousness, we know how much easier it is workout to music we actually like or at the very least provides a beat that’s compatible to the tempo of the exercise at hand. I once walked out of a spin class and canceled my membership to a gym after an instructor played this song. If you aren’t sadistic enough to click, it’s a super slow, annoying song and by annoying I mean pretty much a musical abomination. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t the only person who walked out of that class. As a result, my current standards for playlists consist of anything that isn’t that song.

But I’ve also had lots of positive experiences. Because I’m rather petite, if you tell me I’m strong, you win my undying love, appreciation and extra karma points. Say I have great form, then I will think of you as the American Express Platinum of fitness instructors. Because of my stature, many people perceive me as weak. I even use to think of myself as weak, until I had instructors tell me otherwise. While anyone has yet to describe me as the kind of person you “wouldn’t mess with in a dark alley,” you wouldn’t want me to accidentally kick you. 

Fitness can be transformative. It’s a cliché, but changing your mind can change your body. Instructors should encourage you and safely push you to try harder. I think this is all part of body positivity. If you are going to do something to improve your physical and likely emotional wellbeing, you deserve to do it in a supportive environment with people who make you feel more confident. It doesn’t matter what your ability is, what your body looks like or what your goals are.  And if you’re really lucky, they like Beyonce just as much as you do.

 

Ladies, Get It Together For Valentine's Day

Happy Tuesday! Did you realize while you were eating wings or cake during the Super Bowl on Sunday night that Valentine’s Day is a week away? Probably not. Have you bought your significant other a gift yet? Same answer as the first question. So, it’s time to get yourself together and start shopping. Valentine’s Day is not a good time to screw up this gift thing. But, don't worry about looking for the perfect gift because I over thought everything for you.

Also, let’s address the elephant in the room. You might be reading this because perhaps you are in a new relationship and you’re wondering if you should even buy him something. Of course you should. Think of Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to show you're into him, but not that you want him to propose to you yesterday. Get him something that shows you get him.

Here are some of my favorite Valentine's Day gifts for men. 

Harry’s Truman Set

All men shave. Even the one’s with Zach Galifianakbeards. One of my favorite things about Harry’s is that everything looks more expensive than it is, especially The Truman Set. It comes with a razor in the color of your choice (navy, orange or olive), shave gel or foam (you pick), three blades and a travel cover (because not having one can lead to scary accidents). I LOVE the shave gel. Seriously, most shaving products at this price point smell like desperation, but Harry’s Shave Gel smells like a fresh forest. Between us, it’s very likely you are going to steal this product from him. If you want to upgrade, add a razor stand, which is you can have engraved. Fancy, I know!

Spank The Yeti

In December, I included Spank The Yeti in my Special Snowflake Gift Guide and now I’m bringing it back. It's an inappropriate game that is appropriate for most occasions (not including Arbor Day). Spank The Yeti is kind of like F-, Marry, Kill on crack. It’s a must have for game lovers or people who like to have fun in general. After all, why would you ever date someone who doesn’t like to have fun? If you are, you might want to re-evaluate that relationship. This gift is especially good for new couples because it helps you learn more about each other in a non-threatening, completely un-therapeutic kind of way. 

J. Crew Harwick Weekender Bag

J. Crew’s Harwick Weekender Bag is the one gift on this list that cannot possibly fail. Who doesn’t need a new weekender? It’s durable and rugged, yet sophisticated. 

Hugo Boss Marros Scarf & Beanie Set

Nothing says “I care” more than helping him not freeze this winter. Hugo Boss’ Marros Scarf & Beanie Set is simple, yet stylish and will make him feel warm, but look cool. 

Wüsthof 4-Piece Steak Knife Set with Plum Wood Handles

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Nothing says you're taking a stab at love quite like knives. If your significant other likes to cook, they will really appreciate the quality and aesthetic of this set from Wüsthof. Although these knives were designed for (you guessed it) steak, they're also useful for cutting other things.

Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Homebrewing Craft Beer Making Kit

If your man is super picky about beer, tell him it’s time to him to stop complaining and start brewing his own. A fun project and a thoughtful gift, Mr. Beer’s Homebrewing Kit is perfect for beginners. If anything, it will give him something to do when you want to have a girls night and leave him at home.

B&O H2 Leather Headphones

B&O’s H2 Leather Headphones are so stylish might want to steal them. And by might, I mean you probably will. And yes, they sound as super sweet as they look. 

Gaiam Athletic Dynamat

For the man who’s into yoga, Gaiam’s Athletic Dynamat will be received with much gratitude. It’s designed to be longer and wider than most standard yoga mats, so he can spread out completely in pigeon pose. Add a gift card to his favorite local studio and he’ll want to namaste with you forever.

Prada Saffiano Leather Card Holder

Nothing says you spent a lot of money on him quite like Prada. The Saffiano Leather Card Holder is super sophisticated and luxurious. It's an accessory any card-carrying man can appreciate. 

Tsovet Stainless Steel and Leather Watch

Before cell phones, people used to wear these things called watches to check the time. While it’s an old school kind of gift, Tvoset’s Stainless Steel and Leather Watch has a simple but modern design. 

It's Amanda Lauren X A Sweat Life

I am obsessed with group fitness, but it's an expensive habit. I wrote a post for A Sweat Life featuring my best tips on how to afford those pricey classes and still have enough left over to buy yoga pants that aren't on sale. Click on over to A Sweat Life to check it out.

Five Ways To Trick Yourself Into Achieving Your Fitness Resolutions in 2017

Welcome to January! It’s the official month of no one being able to shut up about their New Year’s resolutions. Let’s be honest. Everyone is talking about changing their life forever, but if you’re anything like me, you’re still trying to recharge from the holidays and can barely change your socks.

It also feels like fitness takes so much more effort in January than it does during a more ideal time of the year like April. You have to wait for your favorite treadmill at the gym (seriously, the sign says there’s a 30 minute limit, you’ve been waiting for 33 and the person who is currently walking 1.3 miles per hour is the most selfish person in the universe), all the good group fitness classes are booked, and if one more person on Facebook asks you to join their Whole30 group, you are going to deactivate your account for a whole 30 days. Losing weight (or any other fitness goal you may have) shouldn’t come at the cost of losing your mind. So, stop listening to that person who keeps bragging about how they’ve lost six pounds since Sunday (and we all know it was water weight anyway), and listen to me.

Don’t Make Resolutions

I’m convinced the person who came up with the term “New Year’s resolution” never achieved one because it sounds intimidating. Who wants to do something they’re not current doing for a whole year? I don’t! Instead, make short-term goals as part of an overall lifestyle change. What sounds easier? Losing 30 pounds this moth or taking three group fitness classes per week? Change your vocab and then change your life.

Something Is Always Better Than Nothing

No matter how realistic our goals are, we all have emergencies, commitments or simply get tired. I try to workout five days a week. But, there are times when I get really busy and four workouts feels like a miracle. I used to feel really bad when I didn’t achieve my weekly goal, but then I changed my perspective, choosing to focus on the positive. Four is better than zero, right? I worked out four days last week. Good for me! 

The Best Workout Is The One You Actually Do

Every day, someone makes a claim that they’re invented some kind of new fitness program that burns 8 million calories per hour and will make your body look like Jennifer Lopez’s in 3 weeks. That’s awesome, but totally ineffective unless you actually do it.

We are currently in the golden age of fitness. No matter what your goals, ability, body type, patience level or budget is, there is some kind of exercise that you will like. And by like, I mean at the very least, not hate entirely. Are you a good dancer? Try AKT or a dance class at your local studio. Like to show off how tough you are and learn new acronyms? Get your WOD on at one of the thousands of Crossfit affiliates. You don’t want to sweat because you get weekly blowouts (on that note, I really want to be you)? Pilates and barre can help you achieve your fitness and hair goals. Do you love spin class but have a crazy schedule or live in Antarctica? Buy a Peloton bike. Perhaps you’re equally serious about fitness and avoiding people? Stream it up with Tone It Up. Between group fitness, gyms, old school DVDs, online programs or just getting outside and putting one foot in front of the other while listening to music or a podcast, there is something for everybody and no excuses for anyone.

Multi-Task & Get Your Friends Involved

Sometimes it’s hard to find time for your social life and fitness, so why not combine both? Instead of drinking 5000 calories worth of mimosas at brunch or beers at happy hour, why not exercise together? Group fitness classes are perfect for friend dates because you have to sign up in advance, making everyone less likely to flake out. If group fitness isn’t your thing, why not go for a hike, ice skate, ski or try a new sport together? Then grab a healthy meal afterwards.

Go Shopping

I know I’m more motivated to workout if I get to wear something stylish. Activewear should be an 100% guilt-free purchase. But getting fit doesn’t mean your wallet has to be lighter, especially if you have a spending hangover from the holidays. I’m absolutely obsessed with the limited edition AKT by Anna Kaiser X Target collaboration that launched this week. Three of my favorite activewear brands, Zobha, Carbon38 and Bandier also have some pretty impressive sales right now. Treat yourself and your body. 

So Last Week... Things I Read That Are Totally Worth Your Time

Happy Holidays! My gift to you is bringing back So Last Week (I know… You were hoping you’d get a handbag, me too). From self-love and body acceptance to turtlenecks, here are some of the best posts I read last week.

Did you read or write something that needs to make So Last Week next week? Please email AmandaLauren212@gmail.com

The Cut: Why I'm Proud To Be A Size 10

I love this essay from The Cut by Nadia Aboulhosn. It’s about loving your body and not letting other people’s standards influence your life decisions. As someone who is short, has an hourglass figure and fits into clothing ranging from size XXS to size 10 (not kidding and yes, I totally should write a post about this), I have a deep appreciation for what she has to say.

Man Repeller: Monocycle Podcast Episode 44, Hi Again

In this episode of Monocycle, Leandra Medine talks about having a miscarriage and learning to have more compassion for herself. Warning: listening to this podcast will make you laugh, cry and give yourself a big hug.

A Sweat Life: A Yoga Workout To Calm Your Mind

Want to namaste sane when you visit your family? Try this workout.

Cupcakes and Cashmere: Spotlight On Statement Tights

Living in Los Angeles, I totally forgot statement tights existed, but after reading this post, I literally want to buy every pair.

Le Fashion: How To Toughen Up A Chunky Turtleneck Sweater

Turtlenecks are everywhere this season. Le Fashion shows you how to make them chic in a way you probably didn’t even think you could. 

New York Fitness Fave AKT Comes To Los Angeles & Target Stores

If you haven’t heard of AKT yet, I won’t judge you (that much), but let me take this opportunity to inform you, it’s one of the hottest workouts right now. AKT was created by Anna Kaiser, a professional dancer turned A-list celeb trainer. After shaping some of the hottest bodies including Kelly Ripa (I know I can stop right here, but let me drop a few more names), Shakira and Sarah Jessica Parker, she opened up her first New York studio in 2013. Very quickly, AKT achieved “it” status. Four east coast locations later, they are getting ready add another one in Los Angeles in 2017. The brand is also launching a limited edition collaboration with C9 Champion, available exclusively at Target (so feel free to pronounce it Tar-jay).

Last week, I had the full-on AKT experience at their Beverly Hills pop-up. I previewed the line and was totally wowed. Everything about this collaboration impressed me, including the quality, construction and (let me be truly honest about my priorities) style. Priced between $12.99-$41.99, every piece looks way more expensive than it is. Another great thing about this collab is that it’s body positive and size inclusive ranging from XS-3X. While I wasn’t able to preview the entire line, overall, I felt what I saw was cut on the more generous side. I plan to order a size smaller than I normally wear. 

I also got my workout on, taking a Sweat Dreams class. While this sounds like something that involves napping and losing weight, don’t let the name fool you. It was a fast-paced program that consisted of circuits, which alternated between strength training with weights and cardio moves as well as mat exercises. Designed to consistently challenge the body, I found as soon as I got the hang of each circuit, it was time to move on to the next one. I really had to keep my focus, which made the hour fly by. Incredibly intense, it was a lot of fun with an encouraging atmosphere. I also give the playlist bonus points because playlists tend to make or break my motivation. 

Sweat Dreams compelled me to push myself in ways I normally don’t. Because the class was in a smaller space, we only used two props, 3 and 8 pound weights. I rarely use weights heavier than 3 pounds. It was as if I took a magic confidence pill and I was really surprised about what my body could do. The entire experience has actually made me feel more confident in my other workouts. 

I do not look this fabulous when I exercise, but at least I can buy the clothes.

I do not look this fabulous when I exercise, but at least I can buy the clothes.

The class was taught by one of AKT’s top instructors, Ariel Hoffman. I was floored by her ability to take command of such a large group, making sure no one was lost, especially because it was the first time quite a few of the participants were trying AKT. Anna herself didn’t teach the class, but she had a really good excuse because she is eight months pregnant. However, she was there to supervise and correct forms (mine included). Anna glowed hard and had such a kind, happy vibe about her. I can’t wait until she gets back from maternity leave, so I can take a class with her personally.

While AKT isn’t officially open in LA yet, they have semi-secret classes at the Pacific Arts Center. You can check the schedule and book through the Mindbody and AKT apps. 

If you don’t live in a location with an AKT studio, no FOMO is necessary because a streaming program is available, as well as DVDs. But you will have FOMO if you don’t kick off the New Year with new gear on January 1st at Target. So, don’t forget to log in at midnight. Try not to think of this as drunk shopping so much as starting your resolutions at the earliest possible moment. If you prefer to shop in store, the line is available at select locations only. 

Drum Your Way Fit With Pound At Crunch

As someone who participates in group fitness four to five days a week, it’s really important to keep it interesting and challenging. What’s worse than a boring workout? So, I was really excited to try Pound at Crunch. Pound is a really interesting concept because it doesn't fit into a neat category. Instead it combines cardio, strength training, core work, stretching and drumming. Yes, drumming!

To be honest, I was a little nervous to try Pound. Try to think of the least musically talented person you know, such as someone who can’t even pretend to drum on a steering wheel while stuck in traffic. My sense of rhythm is probably far worse.  Before the class, I had a vision that I would drum totally off beat and everyone would give me dirty looks, but luckily that didn’t happen. I was actually surprised that after a song or two, I felt like I was able to keep up with everyone. The drumming also really helped to stabilize my core and keep me balanced, which, as it turns out, is the whole point of the class. According to the instructor, Harmonie (yes, that is her real name and no, it could not be more appropriate), being part of the Pound Posse doesn’t require any coordination, “Coordination is not a huge element that we focus on. Anyone can do this workout as long as you feel the music. Your body just flows with it and connects everything you are doing.”

Harmonie In Action

Harmonie In Action

While Harmonie is a natural fit to teach this class, before Pound, she had no prior musical experience, “I've always loved music and was in dance, but I had zero drumming experience and that’s the beauty of it. You don't have to be a drummer to do this workout at all.”

In addition to making the class good for all levels, by providing different modifications, Harmonie was a dream instructor. She was fun, fit, enthusiastic and most importantly, had great taste in music. Liking the playlist absolutely essential for feeling the flow of Pound. Every song has its own set of moves and choreography such as squatting, stretching, crunches, or cardio, followed by or integrating drumming on the floor, in the air or hitting the Ripstix together.

If Pound sounds familiar to you, it’s because this workout has been around for over four years. Kirsten Potenza & Cristina Peerenboom came up with the idea one day when day they were air drumming sans sticks. They realized they were challenging their cores and boom, Pound was born.

Harmonie was one of the first Pound instructors and she is still happily rocking out every week, “I get the biggest high from teaching class. I empower my class to let it all out and to do their best. I challenge them by asking them to think of something they want to let go of during class and then to focus on something they want to bring more of into their lives. It's quite miraculous to watch their faces when they are Pounding...it's like you can see into their soul because each one is thinking something different. I know I play a small part in their day and it makes me so happy that I can do that for them.”

Another thing I really liked about Pound is that it replaces standard weights with ¼ pound (no pun intended) Ripstix. It seems like dumbbells have become the standard equipment for every workout I do these days from Pilates to Spin and even Yoga (which goes against so much of what yoga is about, but that is a different post entirely). Adding weights adds an extra challenge that many people want, but I am not one of those people. My shoulders and arms tend to bulk easily, so I’m sticking with Ripstix from now on.

If you don't live in Los Angeles and reading this makes you have major Pound FOMO right now, don't worry. The class is taught in over 2000 studios and gyms worldwide. If you want to try Pound at your local studio or get more info, visit Pound Fit’s website.

Reflections from Love Goodly’s Do Good Be Green Event & An Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending Love Goodly’s Do Good. Be Green. Detox Your Lifestyle event. It was an intimate conference of eco-friendly #GirlBosses in a variety of industries. I connected with so many interesting women whose passion for an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle was truly inspirational. One issue that several speakers brought up is that there isn’t a perfect way to live a so-called green lifestyle. While we need to be conscious about we put into our bodies, where ingredients are sourced from, and what we’re putting out into the world,  all of us are really just trying to do the best we can. Even the experts agree that we cannot have an all or nothing approach.

One panelist who particularly moved me was supermodel Angela Lindvall, who you might remember from hosting Project Runway All Stars. Listening to her speak about becoming a mother and the effect the environment had on her boys, made me realize that trying to live a more conscious lifestyle isn’t just good for the world around me, it’s truly an extension of self-care. I felt inspired to make some changes in my life and think about things differently. 

The event was also an opportunity to learn about new eco-friendly fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. Here are a few that stood out to me along with some holiday gift suggestions. 

Love Goodly

Love Goodly is a bi-monthly subscription box service featuring vegan, eco-friendly and natural products worth at least $85, for just $29.99. Every box is hand selected by a different guest curator (the curator for the December/January box is Emily Deschanel) and features 4-6 mostly full size products in several categories including beauty, skincare, style, home, food and wellness. Love Goodly provides a easy way to try new products, which you can later purchase on their website. A Love Goodly subscription or even just one box is a perfect gift for anyone who lives a consciencious lifestyle or aspires to.  

Want 20% off your first box? Click here

Lippy Girl

Lippy Girl is a natural, organic and vegan cosmetic line created by Darcey Diehl, a model turned chemist. When I heard her speak on a panel, I was beyond impressed with her honesty about the reality of creating natural cosmetics. Lippy Girl has so many great gift options for the holidays, but my favorite is the Lip Lover Set, which comes with four lip products packaged in an adorable bag.

Hello Mellow

Hello Mellow is a natural body care line started by #GirlBoss/healer/massage therapist/brilliant lady Tracey Feldstein. Joyfully packaged, Hello Mellow offers a variety of products including butters, oils, scrubs and energy shifting sprays (see, I told you she was a healer). There are ten mood-changing scents to choose from, all of which I can only describe as heavenly. The line has a variety of gift sets, but the one that stands out the most to me is the One of Everything Please, which is pretty much self-explanatory. In addition the main line, Hello Mellow has three others formulated for men, pregnant women and kids specifically. 

LVX

LVX is a line of vegan, toxin and cruelty-free nail polish. Designed to have a gel-like texture, it’s available in tons super stylish runway-inspired colors. Perfect for a stocking stuffer.

Hipsters For Sisters

 

Hipsters For Sisters was founded by Debra Denniston and her two daughters, Rachel and Kate. Embarrassed by their mother’s fanny pack, the trio began to design belt bags that you would actually want to show off in public. Made with sustainable, environmentally friendly materials, every bag is manufactured ethically in Los Angeles. My personal favorite is the pearl grey tweed, which easily converts to a chic clutch, so it’s kind of like getting two bags for the price of one. 

Susi Shoes

Susi Shoes is a luxury shoe line that just happens to be vegan. These shoes are absolutely gorgeous. I’m completely obsessed. If you have a vegan person you have to buy a higher-priced gift for, they will beyond appreciate a pair of Susis. The Veronica Naturals and Burgundy Matilda are my personal favorites. 

Glowing Hard With The Founders of Sweat Cosmetics #SquadGoals

We all know that female athletes face so many challenges both on and off the field, but we rarely discuss are how they embrace their femininity and use the skills they’ve developed as athletes in the game of life. Bridging the gap between sweating and glowing is the founding principal behind Sweat Cosmetics, a company which is run entirely by former professional female athletes. 

Sweat Cosmetics isn’t just another brand of makeup. Everything is specifically designed for people with active lifestyles. Their current lineup consists of a mineral powder foundation, illuminator, bronzer, translucent powder and a cleansing towelette. All of the powders contain zinc-oxide sunscreen and are water and sweat-resistant. So, it stays on while you get your sweat on. Because Sweat only uses all natural ingredients and is formulated without talc, oil, fragrance, silicone or parabens, it’s safe for all skin types.

While playing Division I soccer at the University of Denver, Taryn Hemmings (who went on to play for the Boston Breakers and Chicago Red Stars) and Emily Hines realized a product like Sweat didn’t exist. So they built their roster of other girl bosses who they knew would kick ass on the soccer field and in the cosmetics field. Courtney Jones, Leslie Osborne and twice-decorated gold medalist Lindsay Tarpley make up the rest of the team. Like Hemmings, Jones also played for the Boston Breakers as well as the Kansas City Blues. Osborne and Tarpley both played for US Women’s National Soccer Team.

I had the privilege of interviewing all five of these impressive women to discuss how being an athlete translates into being an entrepreneur, what’s next for Sweat Cosmetics and their daily beauty routines.

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How has being an athlete prepared you for running a company?

To me, being an athlete is everything. You are taught early on the importance of handling pressure, time management, being confident, channeling stress, etc. Now, that we are running a company, we see the same synergies every day. From the ability able to bounce back after a rough day to changing up the game plan when something didn't quite work. We are constantly utilizing the skills we have learned over the years as athletes. (Emily)

It's our foundation. Both individually but also collectively- our competitiveness, drive, focus, passion, work rate and dedication. As athletes, we are able to see the bigger vision of all that goes into making a company thrive. We think strategically and are tuned into the big picture with long-term goals. We put strategies in action. Being part of a team for our entire lives, we know how to work well with each other and love being part of a team environment. We know how to leverage each other's strengths and make up for our weaknesses. (Leslie)

Sports prepare you for almost any work environment. Through sports, you develop a competitive fire that is not easily taught. Also, as athletes, we welcome critiques in an effort to make our game better. We bring all aspects of athletics into Sweat. Competitive drive, teamwork, constructive criticism, work ethic, etc. are all apart of our personalities. (Courtney)

I’ve always had a strong competitive spirit and I've enjoyed working hard to try and accomplish my goals. Being part of a team has been very special for me.  Now that my playing days are over, I feel fortunate to be passionate about Sweat Cosmetics and to use these qualities that made me successful on the pitch in the business world.  (Lindsay)

As an athlete, you have to learn how to push yourself to be better and better. When you start your own company, there isn't anyone there pushing you to make the company successful either. You only have yourself and your team. The ability of each of us to simply be able to do this has been such a huge part of how far we've come in making Sweat what it is. (Taryn)

What is your vision for the future of Sweat Cosmetics?

When I see the future of Sweat Cosmetics, I see us being the Under Armour of the cosmetic industry. From a full cosmetic line, to skin and hair care products. Sweat Cosmetics will be the preferred and chosen brand for active women worldwide. (Emily)

My vision is that Sweat Cosmetics will be the one brand that all active women can trust to create and find the products they need to make active women's lives a little bit easier. (Taryn)

Do you have any new products in the works?

We always have new products in the works! Some exciting additions to our current products are set to come out after the holidays, including five new shades of our mineral powder foundation. We're currently starting R&D for a lip product, some amazing new skincare products and eventually cannot wait to work on an eyeliner and mascara. (Taryn)

What are your daily beauty routines? 

I am constantly going from an AM workout to everyday life and that transition has to be quick). Embarrassingly admitting, my daily beauty routine consists of wiping my body off with Sweat Skin-Balancing Cleansing Towelettes. I'll then blow dry my sweaty hair and freshen it up with Batiste Blonde Dry Shampoo. Next, I apply a few swipes of our Shade 200 Mineral Foundation, hit my cheek bones/nose with our Illuminator and motion a little bit of our Bronzer underneath my cheek. Before running out the door, I use a little black mascara and touch up my eyebrows with an Anastasia brow pencil. It’s done in ten minutes. (Emily)

My beauty routine has changed multiple times in the last few years. From being a professional athlete to doing TV/corporate and now being a mother to be and working from home, my beauty routine continues to shift and change. My staples are dry shampoo, Chanel lip gloss, our Skin-Balancing Cleansing Towelettes, Mineral Foundation and Illuminator. (Leslie)

My nightly routine is more complicated than my morning routine. I have sensitive skin, so I want to make sure I remove anything that could cause a problem over night. I "double cleanse" with a Kiehl's face wash, and use my Clarisonic. Then I moisturize like crazy because my skin tends to be dry. In the morning, I don't wash my face with soap, but I lightly splash it with water to get rid of any oils. After that, I got straight for my Sweat. I wear a shade 100, and then use our bronzer. If I have any breakouts, I'll dab a little concealer on each one prior to putting on the Sweat powder. Next, I put a little highlighter on the corner of my eyes; add a couple swipes of mascara, and maybe a pink lip tint if I'm feeling saucy. (Courtney)

I use our Mineral Foundation 100, Illuminator around my checks and mascara on my eyes. I have our Skin-Balancing Cleansing Towelettes in my purse, car and gym bag. (Lindsay)

I'm obsessed with skincare and moisturizers. At night I love using Crude Personal Care Everything Oil to wash my face. Then I use retinol, serum, Crude Bloom Oil, moisturizer, and finally the Everything Oil again. In the morning I wash my face with our Sweat Towelette, then use serum, and moisturizer. A little concealer and then Sweat Mineral Powder (either Shade 200 or Translucent, depending on my day). Then I use Sweat Illuminator along my cheekbones, WunderBrow and some mascara and I'm out the door. I also carry Sweat Bronzer in my purse and usually put it on in my car (while I'm parked). (Taryn)

Adventures At Crunch's Sex-Ed Class

As someone who takes 4-5 group fitness classes per week, I feel my routine can sometimes get a little boring and repetitive. Sure, every spin, barre and Pilates class is somewhat different, but I like to try new things and keep challenging my muscles. So, in an effort to mix it up, I tried Crunch’s Sex-Ed. While the class wasn’t as naughty as I imagined it would be, it was way more fun than I anticipated.

While many fitness classes I’ve taken use props toys, none have been quite like the ones used in Sex-Ed. You can choose from working with “Carlos” or “Lucy,” who are male and female sex dolls. While Lucy has breasts and Carlos has chest hair, neither has genitalia. Call me dirty, but I checked. With Lucy’s loud blue eye shadow and Carlos’ creepy moustache, it’s almost impossible to work out with a straight face. While it’s a serious workout, you can’t take yourself too seriously while doing it.

Another source of humor was Sex-Ed’s creator and instructor, Jorge del Busto. From Malibu by way of Argentina, Jorge is kind of Central Casting for the stereotypical sexy, Latin man. Watching him demonstrate the moves with his hips and dancing around with Lucy, you just can’t help but smile. While I took his instruction seriously, I couldn’t stop giggling. The rest of the class couldn’t either.

As fun and lively as Sex-Ed was, I actually found it to be a welcome challenge. In addition to dancing with the dolls (sounds like a reality show, right?), the routines consisted of a variety of movements including squatting, thrusting and shaking the hips. Kind of a less graceful and more exaggerated version of what you might do in a barre class. Jorge designed this workout to use and strengthen the core and lower regions of the body aka all the muscles you use when you get it on. And much like having sex and dancing, it looks a whole lot easier than it is. Going back and fourth and tucking, I even got a few kegels in (#multitasking). Sex-Ed was perhaps one of the more interesting lower body workouts I’ve ever had. It’s also worth noting that all of the participants of the class that day happened to be women. While men would certainly find it fun, some might be a little self-conscious to attempt Jorge’s moves outside the bedroom.

As the class was ending, I was having so much fun, I started to wonder if any of the workout was actually affective. I actually wasn’t quite sure if I spent 45 minutes working out or just fooling around with a sex doll. However, it turned out to be pretty affective because (pardon the analogy) I was delightfully sore the next day. You know that feeling!

So, should you add sexercise to your routine? If you want a class that is really like nothing else out there, yes! If you are looking for a class to take with group of friends at different fitness levels, this is it! While Sex-Ed felt more like fun than foreplay, doing it with your partner might just get you in the mood to practice some of the moves you learned outside of class. No matter what, I’m pretty sure Jorge will be leading fun fitness orgies for a long time.